St. Johns Riverkeeper

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman about an injunction the group filed to postpone the dredging of the St. Johns River (01:01).

North Florida Transportation Planning Organization spokesperson Marci Larson talked about a survey of the region’s residents being conducted regarding their traffic and transportation concerns in the area (30:05).

Singer-songwriter DeSean Kirkland joined the show to tell us about an upcoming Christmas concert and to perform live in-studio (46:00). 


Peter Haden / WJCT

Update 1:08 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6: This story has been updated to include comment from JAXPORT.

An injunction filed Monday is seeking to stop the first phase of deepening the St. Johns River until further studies are conducted.

The Riverkeeper argues the project requires more analysis after Hurricane Irma.

The legal motion is in addition to an existing Riverkeeper lawsuit against the JAXPORT dredging project already making its way through the courts.


St. Johns River Taxi

Sen. Rob Bradley’s, R-Orange Park, proposal to increase funding for the St. Johns River, springs and the Keystone Heights Lake Region cleared its first legislative hurdle Monday, gaining unanimous approval from the Senate’s Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. Bradley is the chairman.


Lindsey Kilbride

This year’s State of the River Report concludes there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to some nutrients and pollutants that cause toxic algal blooms, including chlorophyll and fecal coliform. That’s even though levels of certain pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen, have been trending downward in the last 10 years.


Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman about the dangers to the river and its tributaries due to Hurricane Irma (01:10).

Tim Brack, Medtronic’s Ear, Nose and Throat division marketing manager told us about treatments for the sinus condition known as Chronic Rhinosinustis or CRS (31:52).

We also heard about two upcoming events connected to Volunteers in Medicine.

Noor Ashouri is the Director of Marketing with First Coast Cardiovascular and Aimee Boggs is with Raymond James. You’ll learn more about Volunteers in Medicine’s Women with Heart for September (39:43). 


KEVIN MEERSCHAERT / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche said in a letter she will not be convening a public workshop about JAXPORT’s deepening of the St. Johns River to make way for larger cargo ships.

The annual Swim Shorts Film Festival is happening for the second year at Jacksonville’s Sun-Ray Cinema on Aug. 16.

The film fest is a fundraiser for the St. Johns Riverkeeper, a nonprofit environmental watchdog group.

“We just want people to participate and have fun,” said festival organizer Laura Bearl on “First Coast Connect” Monday.

KEVIN MEERSCHAERT / WJCT News

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is optimistic a St. Johns River dredging project will bring big business into JAXPORT. The Florida Democrat’s support for the deepening goes against the concerns of local environmentalists, as the St. Johns Riverkeeper is suing over potential environmental impacts.     


JAXPORT

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman says JAXPORT is trying to pull an end-around regarding its new proposal to dredge the river channel.

She said there has not been enough public scrutiny of the plan.

  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman (01:02) about JAXPORT’s newly modified plan to deepen the river’s channel. Retired Captain Matt Tuohy from the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition and Pelocity CEO Stephen Pollan (33:04) talked about the company’s program to help veterans find jobs. Flamingo Magazine publisher Jamie Rich (40:31) told us about its summer edition and Kerry Speckman (45:16) let us know what’s going on around town this weekend. 


Peter Haden / WJCT

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved more than $17 million Wednesday for deepening a portion of the St. Johns River. But with the full cost of the JaxPort dredging estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the newest allocation is just a drop in the river.


Jesse Hanson

The St. Johns Riverkeeper is hosting a two-week event to acquaint Northeast Florida residents with the river.

Riverkeeper spokeswoman Shannon Blankinship said many people see the river when driving over a bridge, but not many actually get up close and personal with the water.

Lindsey Kilbride

A Northeast Florida state senator is trying to get more environmental dollars flowing toward the St. Johns River.

He’s proposing $35 million more for projects along the river that flows from Central Florida to Jacksonville.


Monday on First Coast Connect we were joined by Jimmy Orth of the St. Johns Riverkeeper and Quint White, head of the Marine Science Research Institute at Jacksonville University, to talk about the documentary “Troubled Waters.” Local attorney Wayne Hogan spoke about what toys should be avoided his holiday season. Activist Matt Killen talked about his trip to video protesters at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. 


Leonard J. DeFrancisci / Wikimedia Commons

The St. Johns Riverkeeper is investigating whether Jacksonville’s sewer system complies with state environmental regulations.

That’s after millions of gallons of partially-treated sewage leaked into the ground and waterways during Hurricane Matthew.

It’s not the first time the Riverkeeper has called out JEA for problems with Jacksonville’s sewers.


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